Linguistics 251:  Variation in Phonology

Bruce Hayes, Kie Zuraw

Dept. of Linguistics, UCLA


Assignments and readings
Lecture handouts (Classes 1-20 complete; all in one zipped file)

Assignments and Readings

Week 1

For Tuesday, 4/2:   Andries Coetzee and Joe Pater. The place of variation in phonological theory. In Handbook of Phonological Theory, Goldsmith, Riggle and Yu (eds.).

For Thurday, 4/4:

Paul Boersma and Bruce Hayes (2001) "Empirical tests of the Gradual Learning Algorithm," Linguistic Inquiry 32: 45-86.

For the Boersma/Hayes reading, do a one-page, perhaps bullet-pointed summary of the article to hand in on Tuesday 4/9.

Week 2

For Tuesday, 4/9:

Read: Andries Coetzee (2009). An integrated grammatical/non-grammatical model of phonological variation. In Current Issues in Linguistic Interfaces. Volume 2., Kang et al. (eds.).

Do:  Software exercise: Gradual Learning Algorithm
Data file for exercise: Anttila_data_adapted_from_Boersma.xls

To be handed in Thurday 4/11

For Thursday, 4/11:

Read:  Goldwater, Sharon and Mark Johnson (2003) Learning OT constraint rankings using a Maximum Entropy model. Proceedings of the Workshop on Variation within Optimality Theory, Stockholm University, 2003.

Write a less-then-one-page summary, e.g. in bullet points, for Tuesday, 4/16.

Week 3

For Tuesday, 4/16:

Do:  Software exercise:  Maxent vs. GLA.  You'll need these files (text format):   StrictRanking.txt, Tweak.txt, DoubleTweak.txt.  Due in class Thursday 4/18.

Read:   Martin, Andrew (2011) Grammars leak: Modeling how phonotactic generalizations interact. Language 87: 751-770.

Week 4

Assigned Tuesday, 4/23:

Read Moreton & Pater 2012, for class Thurs. 4/25.  It's in two parts:  part 1, part 2.

MaxEnt exercise with priors.  Due in class Tues. 4/30.
   Run the "double-tweak" case from previous exercise, but this time in MaxEnt Grammar Tool (
   Run once ignoring "open constraints" button (will use default values)
   Run again making a constraints file-use SameConstraintFile.txt in the MaxEnt folder as a basis-but instead of 10,000 for ?2, use something much smaller, like 0.1
   Briefly compare and contrast results.

Week 5

Time to think about a term paper project.  We are hereby requiring that you talk with each of us twice; once early and once late.  Extra consultations also possible.

Please fill out and return the brief judgment questionnaire, which we'll use as part of a toy model done in class.

New exercise on Logistic Regression, due Thurs. 5/9.  This bundle of files has everything you need, including the class handout on to do the work.  Your task is to find some new constraints that help the model.  Note: this will be the basis as well of our last exercise, on model comparison.

Read: Lofstedt, Ingvar (2010) Phonetic Effects in Swedish Phonology: Allomorphy and Paradigms, UCLA dissertation. Read Chapter 4, "Vowel-vowel correspondence and *MAP". This extract is posted on line on the course website. Read for Tues. 5/7.

Week 6

No assignment given out on Tuesday or Thursday; Seuss exercise due Thursday.  We'll have the last exercise next week.

Talk to us about term paper projects.

Mentioned by Bruce in Thursday lecture:  Adam Albright (2012) Additive markedness interactions in phonology; a talk handout

Week 7

Last exercise: model comparison for giant Seuss model. Download this file: Combined.txt. Due. Tues May 21.

Read Jennifer Hay and Harald Baayen (2002) Parsing and productivity. Yearbook of Morphology. Read this for Thursday May 23.



Links for phonology in general